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Last update: May 2021

Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences

Fascination of Plants Day (Journée de Célébration des Plantes) 2015

May 16th - INRA Center of Versailles

The « Fascination of Plants Day » ( is an international event launched under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO, In 2012 and 2013, structures in relation with plants, such as research institutes, universities, schools, botanical gardens, museums, farmers, companies, etc., have opened their doors and organized events to show the general public, young generations or professionals the interest of working on plants and the significance this field has, in particular for agriculture, sustainable food production, energy and environment. The last instance of the “Fascination of Plants Day” was held in May and, to date, more than 60 countries participate in this event.

In 2012, the SPS LabEx collaborated with the BASC LabEx ( to organize popularization lectures and a visit of the Launay Botanical Garden (

Exposition Inra Versailles

Exposition "Nourrir la planète"

This year, on the morning of May 16th, the SPS LabEx welcomed two “Terminale S” classes from high-schools of the Paris area and guided them through different activities to discover plant biology, in collaboration with the INRA Centre of Versailles-Grignon.

Through a mix of workshops, conferences, exhibitions and screening of scientific films, the 60 students were able to address topics such as biodiversity, evolution or the interactions of the plant with its environment (light, water, pathogens ...). These students also had the opportunity to discuss careers in research with the 16 SPS members involved in the management of this event.

The alchemy seems to have worked as feedbacks on the event were very positive. Students and teachers were delighted by the experience. Out of the 52 students who answered our satisfaction survey, 48 thought this event was interesting and/or enriching and 41 would talk positively about it to their friends. And the teachers that were present are willing to come back for similar events.

Does this open the door for a more ambitious program for the next instance of the "Fascination of Plants Day" in 2017? The future will tell...

Focus on the workshop "Plant pathogens: organized gang attack"

Animation sur les pathogènes

Atelier "Attaque en bande organisée"

"During this workshop, we displayed the different elements that are necessary for an experimental infection of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana with the necrotrophic pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea. The students observed the fungus grown in vitro in a Petri dish, Arabidopsis plants grown in a growth chamber and were shown the experimental method. The students were given the opportunity to observe with a binocular micriscope leaves previously infected and stained with Trypan blue in order to observe dead cells.  The students were also given the opportunity to "mock-inoculate" Arabidopsis leaves with water using the same experimental procedure that is used to inoculate bacteria."

Mathilde Fagard